R. T. Dennis and Co. helped furnish the homes of Central Texas for nearly seventy years. Known for its exceptional quality furnishings, R. T. Dennis thrived in downtown Waco and served as the premier home décor destination. Unfortunately, the R. T.…

Over the past forty years, Kitok Restaurant has gone from a humble diner to a local institution, known for its blend of American and Korean fare. But when it first opened in 1975, owner Kitok Moore stuck to diner classics and hesitated calling her…

Positioned on what used to be the only highway through town, Magnolia Table now draws in patrons from around the country and the globe. Though a new restaurant itself, the Table resides in a building with a rich history that has welcomed hungry…

A decade ago no one dreamed that two abandoned cottonseed silos would become the icon of a burgeoning retail empire—yet that is exactly what happened. After the Brazos Valley Cotton Oil Mill closed in 1958 and the silos ceased to serve as storage in…

In the midst of war, some towns stay far removed from the action. For Waco in 1917, this was far from the case. Engineers and workers broke ground for Camp MacArthur training base in July, famously taking up over 1,300 acres of the small Texas city.…

Nestled behind several fast food chains at Fifteenth Street and Speight Avenue, Cupp’s Drive-Inn has been offering diner favorites to local residents and Baylor students and staff for seventy years and counting. The small diner offers a window into…

For over 100 years, Vitek's Grocery and, now, BBQ restaurant, has remained a cherished business in the Waco area, providing residents with quality meats and a community gathering place. The story of Vitek's BBQ began in 1915, when butcher…

The Watson Feed Store is an inseparable part of downtown Mart. Built over 100 years ago, it still stands proudly at its place along Texas Avenue. In 1903, Ruff Watson moved to Mart and purchased property in the middle of town. He constructed a…

During the twentieth century, Elm Avenue served as a commercial hub and community center in East Waco. Looking to launch his own venture, entrepreneur Ike Kestner opened a bank and grocery store in the 500 block of the street in 1914. A full-page…

In 1886, Wacoans Isaac A. Goldstein and Louey Migel formed the Goldstein-Migel Company in order to try their hand at retail. The partners opened their first store on the ground floor of a building in the 700 block of Austin Avenue with only two…

The story of Reed’s Flowers is as much about its founder, Albert Harry Reed, as it is about the shop. Reed emigrated from London, England, in 1908 at the behest of his brother, Tom Reed. The two Reed brothers worked side by side in Waco as growers…

Waco entered an economic slump in the aftermath of the 1953 Waco tornado, urban renewal in the 1960s, and the Austin Avenue Pedestrian Mall in the 1970s and ‘80s. Many businesses either moved or closed their doors permanently during this time. Yet…

Waco rapidly industrialized in the early decades from its founding. The arrival of the railroad and the building of the Suspension Bridge increased the numbers of travelers through the region, and the city soon became a thriving urban center. In…

City Tire and Battery is a third-generation family-owned establishment started by aspiring entrepreneur George Berry Graves Sr. The business began at Third Street, Washington Avenue, and Franklin Avenue, in the commercial center of downtown Waco in…

Completed in 1970, the Austin Avenue Pedestrian Mall opened to high expectations. The City of Waco created the pedestrian mall in an effort to bring consumers back to the downtown district, closing down the street to automobiles and only allowing…

For over a century, the Baylor University Homecoming Parade has played an important role in the relationship between the institution, its alumni, and the greater Waco community. The tradition began in the fall of 1909, when Baylor alumni received a…

During World War II, Waco provided a place of refuge and hope of starting anew for many seeking refuge from persecution, such as Otto and Hilde Levy. As tensions escalated throughout Germany as a result of Nazi discrimination, Otto Levy and Hilde…